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Laughter, the best medicine ?

D

demitramn

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assuming that laughter is the best medicine, and wanting to see how it might be reflected in a Yi response, i put the following question forth: "In what way does laughter benefit health?" 24.2.3 >11

hx24 (negativity giving way naturally to the postive) in the context of hx11 (the decline of the negative in favour of the positive) makes perfect sense
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as does the first changing line which talks about resisting the temptation to entertain unworthy ideas

however, the second changing line throws me off a teeny bit. why should one be wary? wherein lies the danger? is the flucuation mentioned here, between positive and negative, a DIrect result of a humourous turn of mind acting on a negative turn mind? that, of course, would make perfect sense. but then I wondered, could laughter itself somehow CAuse a 'destabilization' that one should be wary of, perhaps?

hmmm, seems like a silly question, i know. afterall, laughter always seems to have a very positive, healing effect on me. yet... on the off-chance that the silliness lies within myself
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merci buckets
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Demitra
 

martin

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Well, if you laugh too much you get wrinkles ..
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On a more serious note (don't laugh please), sometimes we laugh things away and use it to avoid the situation and what we really feel about it. Or we hide behind laughter and use it as a mask. Perhaps that is what line 3 is about, superficial laughter. Or repeated unsuccessful efforts to get to the real fun. Like a car that doesn't want to start.
24 suggests to me something that comes from deep down (the first line). It's not superficial and it doesn't avoid anything, it's not fake, it's not a mask, not an act. It's real, sincere, spontaneous, total ... damned, I'm running out of adjectives!
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ladyganesha

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Hi Demitra, Martin, all,
I can think of three areas where the IC seems to reference laughter: 51 line 1, where you laugh in relief after an unsettling incident, 37 line 3 where we don't take authority seriously, and this is something where the IC recommends the need for firmness, and also 64 line 6, getting drunk and celebrating too much may undo any good deeds.
Lady
 

bradford_h

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Hi Demitra-
Just to add, transitional hexagrams go through the sequence 24.2 > 19.3 > 11.
19.3, your second changing line, speaks of the case where humor is not healthy - in avoiding what needs to be done. 24.2 is pretty clear to me too, in humor's restorative function.
You might already be aware that I think the authors had a great sense of humor, and embedded lots of it in the text. I have a short article on it in Appendix 2 on my site. This is aside from the several references to laughter itself already pointed out.
 
C

candid

Guest
Hi Demitra,

I think it's a great silly question. And a wonderful answer.

Laughter has a way of neutralizing disturbed energy, levels the field, so to speak. It returns us to ourselves. Brings 11.

I agree with Martin's assessment of line 3. Laughter can be a front for sadness, habitually. Or perhaps an over-compensation through use of laughter inducements, such as excessive alcohol, drugs or other forms of escapism. The result of this is the opposite of 11.

I asked a similarly silly question the other day of Yi: How are you? The question had a double meaning. I wanted to know how Yi feels, and also the way Yi is. The answer was 3.1,3-39. It took a bit of contemplation to see its meaning, but it is a spot-on reply. Hope this doesn?t detract from your topic, but since it is a similar type of question I figured I?d mention it.
 

gene

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Hi Demitra

From what I believe I know about you, I doubt there is the tendency, in your heart anyway, to cover up sadness with gaiety. That could happen with other people though. At any rate. I think there is appropriate laughter and inappropriate. The Taoists I believe, had a healthy sense of humor, but they may not laugh at the same things we in the west are inclined to do. There laughter is contained within the bounds of propriety, in terms of the society in which they operate. Sometimes we tend to laugh at people rather than laughing with them. The third line in this gua is very inconsistent. And as such, laughs to gain the friendship of the first line even though the first line by propriety is not its proper partner. In otherwords, laughter with a hidden motive. When this line by itself changes, we revert to hexagram 36, the wounding of or by the dark lord. Don't know if this helps, strikes any chords, or rings any bells, but thought I would throw it out there.

Gene
 
D

demitramn

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you're all not only incredibly smart
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but are also tremendously rich in your use of adjectives and terms; they helped me reach down to deeper levels of understanding

i originally thought that asking this question was lame in itself. afterall, i already knew the answer to be true and was only going through the motions out of curiosity. little did i know at the time i asked the question how much more i could and would glean from asking it. i'm glad i did

overall, yi's response was most fitting, and only that one line left me perplexed. i was also quite intent on understanding in what way laughter and humour could possibly corrupt. from what you have all shared here with me, it is clear that humour, when wielded like a sharp weapon, cannot be construed as a healthy means or be applied in a way that would lead to restoring health. ironically, though i have often found myself dismayed by what passes for humour out there, it never occured to me that THat was what Yi was refering to despite the fact that i did consider the connection and implications of hx36 to the changing line from the beginning

and though i easily 'intellectualized' your reasoning, i had a sneaking suspicion that i was personally failing to grasp the 'feeling' value between different forms of humour. why couldn't all humour somehow be restorative, i kept wondering? the answer to this query seemed highly relevant to my personal understanding of laughter vis-a-vis healing and health

well, i finally got my answer after having to go through an intense health experience last night. after posting this thread on the board, i promptly got very ill. i won't get into the particulars, but i'm glad to say that i am feeling somewhat better today and, suffice it to say that, it was a very long night. when i did manage to get some sleep i dreamt of someone specific on this board who came to help and comfort me. it was the dream sequence itself that managed to bring all your words and insights together into a deeper form of understanding and of the real power behind any kind of healing. certainly, laughter is one form healing can take, but it is not the form that is significant to any healing as is the intent behind the form. it seems quite obvious to me right now, yet yesterday it was not

therefore, the danger inherent in using laughter to mask sadness or anger is that it not only keeps the essense of Love that would heal at bay, but that it actually, in and of itself, causes further injury. and so without the fundamental medicine of Love and its healing powers we risk further wounding and remaining afflicted, either ourselves or in how we affect others. and this is why all forms of laughter are simply not equal to the task

To Martin, Lady, Bradford, Candid, & Gene - much graditude to you all for sharing your abundant wisdom of the I Ching with me. hope i'm half as knowledgable about the yi when i grow up
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as are you all right now

p.s.

Bradford,
i thoroughly enjoyed your article on humour. it is very well written and thought provoking. hope you decide to add more on the subject in time

Candid,
if you don't mind, would you briefly describe your interpretive take of "how Yi feels, and the way Yi is - 3.1,3-39" that you mentioned above? i'm curious what that response meant to you

Finally,
i know that a couple of you here have recently celebrated a birthday and would like to take a moment to send you both hugs and my best wishes for the year ahead
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i would have made it more official and thrown you a party had i known your birth particulars (hint, hint - would love to add you to my astrological collection)
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again, thanks everyone!
Demitra
 
C

candid

Guest
Hi Demitra,

That?s great that you were able to do so much with your answers. Loved how your dream synched up and deepened the experience.

In my (silly) question, I feel it?s important to say that there was a strong emotional energy behind it, and not purely intellectual. All this council for so many years it?s given, and never giving up on me. And so little given of my care about the personal association to the Yi. I?m rarely given to a personification of Yi, as though it is an entity to directly relate with. That said, here?s my interpretation.

How are you? 3.1,3-39

?I am the beginning of all things, the potential that is not yet realized. I am the endless abyss and the highest mountain. From chaos I present the working of perfect order; though you must sort through all these things to find your own value and meaning within them. I am the guide who shows you the way through the forest. (to 39) I am inaccessible directly, but through my images I touch your mind?s potential to grasp. I will assist you through the obstructions of life, which can and must be overcome in order to continually progress. When you encounter an obstruction, the important thing is to reflect on how best to deal with it. I show the way out and the way back.?

I never was able to invoke a statement of feeling or emotion from Yi. Perhaps this is because Yi is selfless.

As an aside, I love how Yi grows with us. It begins at fundamental levels of boy/girl, man/woman relationships, and evolves according to our capacity. That?s why I don?t think anyone can ever master it.
 
D

demitramn

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Hi Candid
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i always appreciate your unique style of articulating yi's responses. this is not to say that i don't appreciate other people's special individual style of expression, because i most certainly do, but that was genuinely very nice, thank you.

also, i don't think your question can be considered any sillier than mine. i think it's perfectly ok to merely chit chat with yi from time to time, like one might with a casual friend. that way, when we consult during troubled times, having developed trust during times of peace, it is somewhat easier to listen and accept its offerings.

peace,
Demitra
 
C

candid

Guest
Hi Demitra,

Thanks very much.

I agree with what you've said about the casual side of a relationship with Yi. Not so different than enjoying a casual dialogue and relationship with God, however we might perceive him/her/them/it to be. Maybe there's a lesson there on how to enjoy a more casual relationship with ourselves? Good grief but we can be so serious with all this at times! It's nice to lighten up once in awhile.

peace,
Candid
 
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demitramn

Guest
amen to that
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Candid

after a couple of intense decades of rip-roaring serious, i got me a nice light bowl of casual, wrapped up in a mona lisa smile, of course ...most gratifying.

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and the more i find myself here, the less interest i have in sharing my easy bowl of solitude with anyone who isn't similarly inclined to listening to the sounds of harmony. besides, who can get a clear view of the sky with a heavy cloud cover in the way ?

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Demitra
 
C

candid

Guest
I sure hear that, Demitra.

Back in my prolific song writing daze, if I wrote just one more tune in a minor key, the universe would have imploded on itself. Now, with the folks I enjoy jamming with, most everything is in a major key with clever lyrics. ?Course I still play the blues, and love doing so. But blues is soulful - it lets it out - not filling the heart and mind with heaviness.

Why waste a perfect sunset pondering its meaning, when it is so self-evident?

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C

candid

Guest
not that there?s anything wrong with contemplation.

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(thanks for indulging my creative impulse)
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C

candid

Guest
Demitra,

Do we realize that the silliest questions are actually the most revealing? Meng, the Yi god of folly, is also the origin of wisdom in human thought.

Consider the myth of Pan:

?Pan, the god of woods and fields, of flocks and shepherds, dwelt in grottos, wandered on the mountains and in valleys, and amused himself with the chase or in leading the dances of the nymphs. He was fond of music, and as we have seen, the inventor of the syrinx, or shepherd's pipe, which he himself played in a masterly manner. Pan, like other gods who dwelt in forests, was dreaded by those whose occupations caused them to pass through the woods by night, for the gloom and loneliness of such scenes dispose the mind to superstitious fears. Hence sudden fright without any visible cause was ascribed to Pan, and called a Panic terror.

As the name of the god signifies all, Pan came to be considered a symbol of the universe and personification of Nature; and later still to be regarded as a representation of all the gods of paganism itself.? from Bulfinch's Mythology

Think of a moment - about 10 years ago. Measure now the time distance in proportion to the speed of your recollection. Where went the 10 years?

Silly questions indeed.
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Candid
 
D

demitramn

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Candid,
In my mythic tarot cards, Pan is the god depicted in the card of the Devil. The Mythic Tarot by Juliet Sharman-Burke & Liz Greene says,

<BLOCKQUOTE>"...he was not evil, merely untamed, amoral and natural. It is the paralysis of the humans who are held enthralled in terror and fascination which creates the problem. The card of the Devil implies blocks and inhibitions which arise from our lack of understanding of Pan. Although he is ugly, he is the Great All - the raw life of the body itself, amoral and crude, but nonetheless a god. The energy which is expended in keeping the Devil in his cave, shameful and hidden, is energy which is lost to the personality, but which can be released with immensely powerful effect if one is willing to look Pan in the face. Thus the Fool must learn to confront with humility the basest and most shameful aspects of himself, or he will forever remain in bondage to his own fears. Then, in order to hide this shameful secret, he must pretend that he is superior and projects his own bestiality on others, leading to prejudice, bigotry and even persecution of individuals and races who seem to him evil."</BLOCKQUOTE> In this sense, silly questions easily join the ranks of all that we consider shadowy, shameful and suspect. It is only in facing our darkness that we begin to see the freedom in releasing all those things we have come to judge as suspect (ie. silly) so that we can become what we always were - merely natural.

Demitra
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C

candid

Guest
BTW, I had a visit from the devil incarnate yesterday. She was dressed as a Jehovah?s Witness, but she didn?t fool me! (shudders) lol
 

Frankelmick

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Demitra,

Do you use the Mythic Tarot deck for readings? What do you think?

Someone gave me a deck and I've tried to get to know it but I find it hard work and I haven't dared to use it for readings yet.

Very best wishes,

Mick
 
D

demitramn

Guest
Hi Mick
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at this stage of my involvement with tarot, i can work with any deck without any problems. you could hand me a home-made deck colored in with crayons and i could give you a reading
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the mythic tarot deck was, however, the one that really got me going, even though it was NOT the first deck to cross my path -Ryder/Waite was- nor is it my primary choice today -Robin Wood is-

i found that once i studied the book that came with them, i finally GOT it - i finally began to see a pattern that made sense to ME

i think it helped that i had previous experience with the greek myths in general and that i also have a background in psychology. but i think that my cause was mainly supported by the fact that this deck is arranged so that the stories used for each suit flow smoothly from Ace to King, and that the main theme of each suit connects so sensibly into the theme of the other three suits

at least this is the way that it appears to me, and for others who i know of who also work, or have previously worked, with this deck. we all agree that reading the book from cover to cover first, makes a huge difference. if you haven't had the chance to do so, this might help you get more comfortable with these cards

Demitra
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Frankelmick

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Demitra,

Yes I've had a good at reading the book.

I took it really slowly, one card per day.

But maybe because I don't really know the Greek myths very well, I've never got the hang.

But I'll persevere.

Thanks very much and best wishes,

Mick
 
C

candid

Guest
Hi Demitra,

I found your mythic tarot cards? presentation of Pan to be fascinating. My only experience with Tarot was with the Ryder/Waite deck, but I only was with it for about two years, and it was very long ago. I found it clear enough for me to grasp the symbolic references, however it just wasn?t as natural for me as the I Ching, so I stayed focused on Yi.

I do have an interest in myth, and I?m wondering if I?d benefit just from reading the material from this mythic deck you?ve mentioned. I view each hexagram as myth also, but Yi doesn?t have the graphic quality that tarot has.

Any thoughts on whether someone would benefit just from the text of this mythic deck?
 
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demitramn

Guest
Hi Candid
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<BLOCKQUOTE><HR SIZE=0><!-Quote-!><FONT SIZE=1>Quote:</FONT>

Any thoughts on whether someone would benefit just from the text of this mythic deck?<!-/Quote-!><HR SIZE=0></BLOCKQUOTE>

sure, why not - if you have an interest in myth this could be the thing that blows the tarot-mystery-lid off the container, so to speak, so that the essence of card divination begins to feel as natural as yi divination does for you now

IMO divination is divination, regardless of which system one uses. both systems ultimately require the development of intuition for a successful reading to take place, and as far as i can tell, it's only in the 'approach' that the brain takes that is different - somewhat like a lingustic to a pictoral thing vs a pictoral to a lingustic thing... but i digress
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whatever my thoughts on the subject of divination, if you have a interest in myth then you can't lose by taking a look at this book. however, i'm not sure whether you can purchase the book separately and apart from the cards - i've only seen them sold as a set. but then, i don't get out much either
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Demitra
 
D

demitramn

Guest
Hi Mick,

as i've mention elsewhere on this board, when one is still in the stages of trying to figure out how to get one's foot inside the door of tarot understanding, and to keep it open, one needs to find the "right" deck to work with

clearly, the mythic cards are not the one's that resonate with your personal "soul language". if there is another deck that you can work with that doesn't confuse you, then that may be the one that pictorially speaks to your soul. i would stick with that one

work long enough with tarot cards and you'll find that, having acquainted yourself thoroughly with your own inner language, which is pure intuition btw, you'll realize that the form the cards take are not really the point in the end

in any case, you work really well with dreams, you might want to consider putting a question forth to your dreaming-self to see which deck it points out as the one that is more "you"

Demitra
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C

candid

Guest
Thanks, Demitra. Sounds good. Perhaps I will look into it more, and I'm sure the deck won't stay in the box for long. Too much fool in me to let that happen.
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chuckles at getting out more. But compared to the last few years, I'm a real man of the world these days. Well, I exaggerate, but ya know.
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Candido
 
D

demitramn

Guest
Candid,

if myth is of major interest to you, you may want to take a look at "The Forest of Souls" by Rachel Pollack as well (you might recall that Hilary made mention of this book in one of her recent newsletters
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)

<U>synopsis</U>: "examines the tarot cards and their dreamlike pictures from the standpoint of myth. The cards are brought to life through stories and poems, exercises and meditations, even rituals and invocation. The book draws on ancient practices to use the cards as an opening to wonder and mystery. The focus is on the possible truths the cards reveal, rather than the easy answers of fortune-telling."

... for those times when you're not out painting the town red
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Demitra
 
C

candid

Guest
Oh, my! Painting the town? My life is getting more exciting by the minute! Soon I?ll be stealing the ladies at the Friday night VFW Hall dances!

"The Forest of Souls" by Rachel Pollack. Thanks. Sounds a bit Pagan? I might just tear off my clothes and dance under the moonlight!

This is all too much. Think I need a nap. Wake me for dinner.
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C

candid

Guest
Hi Demitra,

Sorry about the outburst yesterday. Must have been that double shot of Geritol for breakfast.
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But seriously..

You know the saying ?when the student is ready, the master will come?? I had a powerful inner experience - one of those synchronicities that changes you forever ? which dealt with my own myth. A genuine enlightenment of sorts. Suddenly from nowhere, Joseph Campbell books and DVDs were literally being handed to me from different sources, teaching me what I was ready to understand in greater detail. As we speak, two more Campbell books are soon to be traveling to my house, unsolicited by moi. So it appears that my reading time will be happily occupied with more Campbell for some time. Once I?ve digested that material I?ll be able to branch out into additional mythological sources, if my hunger in this subject continues to stir, which I believe it will.

As a child I had a very difficult time learning in the classroom. Today it would be called ADD or some such thing, but I struggled beyond my ability with every subject I was required to learn. Then one fine day the teacher (was still grammar school level) opened a new book on Greek mythology. I was enthralled from her first word from the book! That week, I became very ill, and so my teacher sent home a pile of homework to my mother, who then became my teacher. Now my mom never finished school and had little interest in anything academic. But she rolled her sleeves up and provided the kind of attentive teaching that reached my stubborn brain. The bulk of the lessons were on this new and fascinating subject: Greek Mythology. She read, I read, she drilled and drilled. I felt full of light and understanding for the first time in my little life! When I returned to class, healthy and eager, the Mythology exam was given to the class. The next day as the teacher handed back the scored tests to her class, she expressed her anger and disappointment that even her best students did so poorly. Then she said something in her anger that will forever resonate its mixed signal in my mind: ?Even Bruce got an A!? I was stunned, not knowing if that statement should make me happy or very sad. I chose happy, and relished in the idea that I was not dumb as a post after all.

It was almost two decades later, after dropping out of school and finishing six years in the Navy, that my friend handed me the I Ching. And once again I was able to learn something that I actually cared about.

Trusting you understand.

Candid
 

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